Calgary, AB,

Slow Down, Move Over

Tow truck drivers and first responders are teaming up to bring awareness to road safety and the need for drivers to slow down and move over when they see flashing lights.

On March 7, 2017, tow truck driver Courtney Schaefer was struck and killed near Esterhazy, Sask. In remembrance of his death and to remind the public about the dangers these professionals face when working on busy roadways, members of the Towing and Recovery Association of Alberta, Calgary Police Service, Calgary Fire Department and Alberta Health Services Emergency Medical Services will be staging a roadside event.

Between 7 and 8 p.m., on Thursday, March 7, 2019, a contingent of emergency services vehicles will be parked in both directions alongside Stoney Trail and 114 Avenue S.E., as a reminder to drivers to slow down and move over.

Motorists must reduce their speed to 60 km/h or the posted speed, whichever is lower, when passing emergency vehicles or tow trucks that are stopped with their lights flashing. This law applies to the lane(s) immediately next to the stopped vehicles.

The fine for speeding in these areas is doubled. If you are not in the lane next to the stopped vehicles, reduce speed and leave lots of space between yourself and emergency personnel and equipment at the scene.

“The purpose of Slow Down, Move Over is to raise awareness for the safety of all roadside workers, including tow trucks, EMS, fire, police, and highway/road maintenance. Working roadside is the most dangerous aspect of our job as tow truck operators and we need to be able to do our jobs as safely as possible.” – Derrek Spencer, Towing and Recovery Association of Alberta

“Not only is it the law to slow down to 60 km/hr when passing emergency vehicles and to change lanes to make room for emergency personnel, it just makes sense. Tow truck drivers and emergency workers deserve safe working conditions.” – Sgt. Chris Agren, Calgary Police Service

“When firefighters arrive at a collision, our care and attention needs to be fully on the trapped and injured we are there to help. That is made more difficult and dangerous if we are worried about getting struck by passing vehicles.” - Carol Henke, Public information Officer with the Calgary Fire Department.

“Roadways become temporary offices for first responders and tow operators. Paramedics ask motorists to be attentive and give us room to work, while we care for the sick and injured.” – Adam Loria, Public Education Officer with AHS EMS